Portsmouth Firm Conducts $10 Million Navy Yard Study

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Noah Elwood

The oldest Navy yard in the nation will have a new mission soon. As the Los Angeles Class of submarines fleet is retired, the 216-year-old yard will be shifting its work to the newer Virginia Class of subs.

To prepare for that mission, the Navy has funded a $10 million dollar study of the yard’s waterfront facilities. The Department of Defense has determined that all those facilities’ piers, wharves, quaywalls, bulkheads, crane rail systems, fender systems, berthing and mooring systems along with drydocks need to undergo inspection and redesign.

The company tasked with that extensive process, now underway, is Appledore Marine Engineering, LLC of Portsmouth. Roger Wood spoke with company president Noah Elwood, at a pier overlooking the yard on Seavey Island.

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, has introduced a bill that will, if enacted, provide for repair, capitalization and certification of the dry docks, in anticipation of work on the larger Virginia-class submarines. And, Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, has written a letter to U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, along with the First and Second Congressional District Representatives, asking for their support of the legislation. Citing the yard’s economic impact on the Seacoast region, Hassan called on the delegation to fight any effort to reduce operations at the yard.

The yard, one of four public Navy yards still in operation in the U.S., has survived several closure possibilities, the last one in 2005. For InDepthNH.org, I’m Roger Wood